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Misfortunes and Shipwrecks in the Seas of the Indies, Islands, and Mainland of the Ocean Sea (1513–1548)Book Fifty of the 'General and Natural History of the Indies'$
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Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035406

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035406.001.0001

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In which are the author's conclusion and defense of these histories to those who may see these materials, making known that in Spain among some Latinists and authoritative persons it was said that the historian of such new and strange studies ought to have written them in the Latin language; and later there was controversy among the aforesaid—some faulting him, others supporting him; and, of course, there was someone to write to him in the Indies concerning the deliberation pro and con in Spain; to which the author responded with a letter which here, reader, you may judge for yourself, providing that impartially, humanely, and calmly you weigh his response in the balance of justice, giving it due reason and truth to better consider, ponder, and decide the correct verdict; note what he says.

In which are the author's conclusion and defense of these histories to those who may see these materials, making known that in Spain among some Latinists and authoritative persons it was said that the historian of such new and strange studies ought to have written them in the Latin language; and later there was controversy among the aforesaid—some faulting him, others supporting him; and, of course, there was someone to write to him in the Indies concerning the deliberation pro and con in Spain; to which the author responded with a letter which here, reader, you may judge for yourself, providing that impartially, humanely, and calmly you weigh his response in the balance of justice, giving it due reason and truth to better consider, ponder, and decide the correct verdict; note what he says.

Chapter:
(p.167) Chapter XXX In which are the author's conclusion and defense of these histories to those who may see these materials, making known that in Spain among some Latinists and authoritative persons it was said that the historian of such new and strange studies ought to have written them in the Latin language; and later there was controversy among the aforesaid—some faulting him, others supporting him; and, of course, there was someone to write to him in the Indies concerning the deliberation pro and con in Spain; to which the author responded with a letter which here, reader, you may judge for yourself, providing that impartially, humanely, and calmly you weigh his response in the balance of justice, giving it due reason and truth to better consider, ponder, and decide the correct verdict; note what he says.
Source:
Misfortunes and Shipwrecks in the Seas of the Indies, Islands, and Mainland of the Ocean Sea (1513–1548)
Author(s):

Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813035406.003.0031

It is a universal rule that all the Chaldean, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin writers wrote in the language they intended best to be understood and most accessible to their readers. So, since the Castilian language is at present widely communicated throughout so many empires and kingdoms, those who write in it are not to be held in less esteem than those who have written in the other languages. Thus, as to what seems unsuitable to friends or critics, writing in the native language is more to be praised than to be disdained as a defect. These histories in this book being more widely understood by the people of Spain who first navigated the parts discussed here and alone possessed them above all the number of Christians and all others from Africa, Asia, or Europe.

Keywords:   Castilian, rule, Latin, language, Spain, Europe, Latinists, Indies

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